Day 23 of #NorthVan365
There are countless things to see and do during the summer months in Vancouver, BC. A favourite of many locals is hiking to the peak of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. It’s a tough climb and not for the faint of heart but it can be done at any pace and the terrain isn’t extremely difficult to maneuver. There are several places to stop and take in the amazing panoramic views before you even reach the top making the climb much more enjoyable.
The first part of the hike is on the Mount Seymour ski alpine. It’s covered in small loose rocks so use caution and stay on the grassy sides if possible. One little slip could give you a pretty bad injury if you’re not careful.
Keep your eyes peeled for the wooden posts that act as trail markers as well as the orange tape or painted rock on the way. You will come across a trail marker every so often to keep you on route.
The views are best on a clear sunny day, however you may venture out on a cloudy day which can create some limited visibility during your hike. Always make note of the weather before you leave and ensure you pack accordingly.
When you do reach the peak if you choose to hike that far you will be surrounded by incredible panoramic views of Vancouver and the surrounding mountains. There may even be a few small bodies of water left from the snow melt which can make for some awesome photo ops!
If the skies are clear enough you can see Mount Baker in the distance from various viewpoints.
This summer in particular has been extremely hot and dry so it is recommended to start early in the day when the temperatures are cooler to avoid getting dehydrated. Bringing plenty of drinking water is very important. There have been bear sitings in many of the North Vancouver mountains so please use caution and hike in a group whenever possible.
To get to the trail head, drive to North Vancouver and take Mount Seymour Parkway towards Deep Cove. Make a left on Mt. Seymour Rd. after Parkgate Shopping Centre. Follow Mt. Seymour Rd. until you reach the parking lot at the trail head.
Let’s face it, hiking in North Vancouver is awesome! The beautiful forest is right in our backyard so we might as well take advantage of it. There are many trails to explore throughout the North Vancouver parks and mountains; here are 5 hikes that are of various difficulty levels that are worth checking out.
1. Hike to 30 Foot Pool in Lynn Canyon Park
That’s why we’re all here right? To find that beautiful emerald green swimming hole called 30 Foot Pool that everyone talks about. These precious places can take hours to reach but this one is a lot closer than you think! This hike is perfect for families hoping to find a place to cool off on a hot day. Read More »
2. Hike to Mystery Lake on Mount Seymour
Looking for stunning views of the city from the top of a mountain? Look no further than Mount Seymour. The hike to Mystery Lake is a bit of a scramble up the alpine but there’s a refreshing swim at the top and some beautiful scenery too! This hike is for all levels but beware the steep alpine trail and loose rocks leading up to the lake. Read more »
3. Hike the Seymour Demonstration Forest
It’s a paved path like no other. The Seymour Demonstration forest road is closed to vehicles and open to hikers, walkers, runners and riders. If you’re looking for a fairly smooth path to get some exercise or take the kids on a long bike ride, this is the perfect spot. It’s a long road but there’s some goodies at the end including a Fish Hatchery! Read More »
4. Hike to Norvan Falls
Norvan Falls is a long ways from civilization but you’re in for a real treat with spectacular forest scenery and of course the amazing Norvan Falls at the end of the line. It’s a fairly easy path, however it’s a long hike so make sure you’re well prepared with lots of water, food and good hiking shoes! Read More »
5. Hike to Quarry Rock in Deep Cove
There’s more than one reason to visit Deep Cove, and while you’re there you might as well hike to Quarry Rock. Some say it’s a bit strenuous with lots of ascending and descending through the trail with large roots sticking out. It’s a fairly short hike though, and there’s a great view of Deep Cove and Indian Arm at the end too! Read More »
#NorthVan365 Day 21
Some may say this hike is easy, but when you’re hiking an elevation of 150 metres on an alpine of loose rocks in only 3km… it’s not that easy. It’s worth it though, especially on a crystal clear North Vancouver day. If the clouds are low you may find yourself hiking through the fog.
Take the scenic drive to the top of Mount Seymour and park at the main parking lot. It’s free! The hike to Mystery Lake is pretty straight forward, you hike straight up the alpine switchbacks. Keep to the right near the top of the trail and you’ll find the lake. If you’re unsure of where to go, just follow the trail signs or ask another hiker nearby. There’s usually a steady flow of hikers going to Mystery Lake.
When you reach the lake there is a small trail that takes you around it where you’ll find some large rocks near the water to sit on. On a hot day the lake is usually quite crowded so get there early if you plan to stay a while. It’s always recommended to pack light but you will see some carry their favorite floatation device up the mountain to relax on in the lake. Just make sure you bring lots of water, drinking the lake water is not recommended.
The descent back to the parking lot can be fun and it goes a lot faster than the hike up. Just watch your step as the alpine trail has very loose rocks and slippery patches. If this short hike wasn’t quite enough, Mount Seymour has several other trails to choose from but make sure you’re well equipped for a full day of hiking!
#NorthVan365 Day 8.
If you’ve been searching for a long stretch of pavement with no cars to bother you, look no further. The Demonstration Forest Road in North Vancouver is 12km of car free heaven. Bring your bike or your best street runners and do some warm up stretches before you follow this windy road through beautiful BC Forest. It’s a real challenge too as it’s not entirely flat and there are some long hills you’ll have to climb, but the downhill is always worth it!
This is a very family friendly excursion. A perfect place if the kids want some space to practice riding their bikes. Keep in mind that it’s a long way to the end so ensure you’re prepared for a few gruelling hills and bring lots of water.
The Demonstration Forest Road is part of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve which is South of the Seymour Water Shed. If you follow the road to the very end you’ll reach the Seymour Dam. There’s a great viewing area so it’s worth the trip!
You’ll also find the Seymour Fish Hatchery at the end of the road which is a really interesting place to see especially if the kids are in tow. For more information on the Fish Hatchery you can visit their website here: http://seymoursalmon.com/
When you’re rested up and ready to make the trip back just follow the same road you came there on.
From the highway take the Mt. Seymour Parkway exit and then go North on Lillooet Road for about 4.6km. There is a large parking lot at the end of the road before the entrance to the Demonstration Forest.
#NorthVan365 Day 6.
Who could resist standing at the foot of a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the forest, especially after hiking for 7km! Norvan Falls in North Vancouver is still a hidden gem but is becoming more and more popular every year.
Norvan Falls Trail Access from Lynn Headwaters
The journey to Norvan Falls is long but very worthwhile. Not just for the reward at the end of the trail but for the beautiful forest and scenic North Vancouver mountains you’ll see along the way. Norvan Falls is 14km round trip on a fairly flat trail that follows Lynn Creek for most of the way. It begins at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and ends after a 7km walk through the wilderness.
The first 4km follows a well groomed trail along the river. There are a few side trails that will take you down to the water if you have time for a detour. Don’t wander too far though. After 4km you will come to a rocky clearing known as the debris chute. On the left you will see a small trail that leads down to the water. It’s worth taking a look as there is some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Once you’re finished taking a well deserved break follow the trail at the top of the debris chute that leads to Norvan Falls.
You will begin to hear the sound of rushing water as you approach the falls. The trail follows a long boardwalk and then descends down towards the river. When you reach the falls there is a small lookout spot but due to the erosion it’s a little dangerous and probably better to avoid. Follow the trail down to the water and take in the amazing scenery. There are plenty of large rocks to sit on and set up a picnic if you have one.
If you’re up for a bit of rock hopping you can get right up close to the falls. There is a large tree stump across the pool beneath the falls that is great to sit on and take it all in. Be sure to watch for falling rocks from the falls and the surrounding cliffs. When you’re done taking in the falls you can return to the Lynn Headwaters Park entrance the same way you came. Just make sure you leave with enough time to make it back before dark.
What to bring on your hike to Norvan Falls
Lots of drinking water
Lunch or snacks
First aid kit
Directions to Lynn Headwaters and Norvan Falls
Follow Lynn Valley Road Northbound until you reach the entrance to Lynn Headwaters Park. It’s just past the End of the Line cafe. Continue straight down the narrow road until you reach the parking area. There are 3 lots plus an additional overflow lot but it does fill up quickly so the earlier you start your hike the better.